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It seems like just yesterday we were partying like it was 1999, and all of a sudden, we're 20 years into the new millennium. 

Back in the early 2000s, we all had our favorite celebrities and celebrity crushes. Some proved to have staying power, while others disappeared with the threat of Y2K.

So let’s take a look in the rearview mirror and bring some stars that may have faded from our memories back to mind again. If only for an instant. 

Justin Guarini

Can you believe this heartthrob from the 2002 season of American Idol is already 41?! That year he finished as the runner up to Kelly Clarkson, who is obviously still very much in the spotlight.

And though he did seem to fall off the radar after some unsuccessful albums and the universally panned movie From Justin to Kelly, he actually never stopped working. When things didn’t go well on the pop charts, he hopped over to Broadway, where he worked on a steady stream of major theatre productions. 

In the late 2000’s he became a recognizable face on TV once again for his role as Lil Sweet in the Dr. Pepper Ads. As far as I’m concerned, these ads are a genuine tour de force. Who knew the guy had such great comic timing? 

Lacey Chabert

‘90s kids will remember her as the rambunctious little sister from Party of Five. But it appears her most iconic role will forever be Gretchen Weiners, the obsequious gossip from 2004’s Mean Girls

After her role as one of the Plastics, she continued to act and do voiceover work. But her popularity had definitely faded. So where do mean girls go once they’re not so fetch anymore? Hallmark apparently. Where she has appeared in over 20 movies, from mean girl to sappy good girl. 

And yes, I’ve seen one. What can I say? In a crazy world, sometimes you just need a Hallmark movie.

Jesse Metcalfe

In the early 2000s, he was cougar meat in the soapy hit Desperate Housewives. After his role as Eva Longoria’s shockingly younger squeeze, he starred in John Tucker Must Die and also did a stint on a reboot of the ‘70s soap, Dallas.

And while he continued to work after that, his visibility had definitely taken a dive. So where is he these days? Just like Lacey Chabert, he’s popped up as a Hallmark favorite. Most recently in their series Chesapeake Shores

He plays hunky country music star Trace Riley. He’s as handsome as ever. And who knew he could sing?! 

The show is ultra corny. And yes, I admit to watching it. I think I may have a Hallmark problem. 


Back in 2003 her hit single “Milkshake” was all over the radio. But after her album Tasty, none of her follow-ups seemed to have the same success.

So where did she go? Cooking school! At Le Cordon Bleu no less! Later she launched a line of barbeque sauces called “Bounty & Full.” Then in 2014, she started hosting her own cooking show called Saucy and Sweet.

She even revealed her milkshake recipe that claimed to bring all the boys to the yard.

And all this time I thought she was talking about something else. 

I’ll have to try it. Surely, it’s better than mine. 

Chad Micahel Murray

He was the obnoxious but undeniably good looking rich kid who failed to win Rory over in Gilmore Girls. But that was just his first appearance on the CW. Later he went to Dawson’s Creek and after that did six season’s on One Tree Hill.

Eventually he went on to make some popular teen films including Freaky Friday, Cinderella Story and House of Wax. But like many teenage heartthrobs, Chad became less sought after over the years.

Then in 2019, the CW came calling once again. His role as the freaky cult leader Edgar on Riverdale brought him back into the fold and introduced a grown-up Chad to a whole new audience. 

Ah, the circle of life on teen shows. 

Mischa Barton 

Back in the 2000s, she starred as Marissa Cooper on The OC, the girl that you secretly wanted to be. But after she was killed off the show, her stars seemed to go dark.

Like many young actors, she suffered the pressure of tabloids and the paparazzi. And eventually, she kind of cracked under pressure. 

She gained a reputation as a party girl. And in 2008, she was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor after cops found a small amount of marijuana in her possession during a routine traffic stop.

In 2016, Dancing with the Stars came calling as it usually does. Barton claimed she was happy to be kicked off second as it wasn’t a great experience. 

Then in 2019 she was cast in MTV’s reboot, The Hills: New Beginnings. But just a few week’s back it was announced that she would not be returning for a second season. Apparently producer’s thought her personality was “a bit boring.” Ouch. 

Vitamin C

Her hit single “Graduation (Friends Forever)” may still bring a tear to your eyes. With that bright yellow hair and her huge platforms, she was like a ray of sunshine in the early 2000s.

And you probably sang along to her songs “Smile”, “The Itch” and “As Long as You’re Loving Me.” She even popped up on shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

So what happened when the sun seemed to go down on one of our favorite pop stars? Well, since 2012 Vitamin C (Colleen Fitzpatrick) has been the vice president of music at Nickelodeon. Vitamin Corporate!

Seann William Scott

He was the dude from American Pie, the dude from The Dukes of Hazzard and the dude from Dude, Where’s My Car? And though he was popular for a time as the fun-loving party guy, typecasting seemed to stall his career.

These days early fans may be asking the question, “Dude, where are you?” Well, he’s the voice of Crash in Ice Age. And he also broke the typecasting mold in the 2015 film Just Before I Go. He also starred in the third season of Fox’s Lethal Weapon. 

Other than that, he’s kept a low profile. Though recently it was announced he’d be playing Father Joe on a new Fox comedy pilot, This Country.

Will the dude make a comeback? Tune in and see. 

Shane West

You probably remember swooning over him in 2002’s Walk To Remember. Yes, he was Landon Carter, the popular kid that wasn’t such an a-hole after all. 

After that, he popped up in a string of films, including The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

So where is he now? Still working, but mainly on the small screen. Though he never became an A-list movie star, he did star in ER, Nikita, Salem and the last season of Gotham.

At least he’s a TV star to remember.

William Hung

William Hung. After a spectacularly bad version of “She’s Bangs” on American Idol, the talentless but spirited singer gained a cult following. Suddenly, he was popping up all over the place.

Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman and Ellen DeGeneres all had him on their shows. He also seemed to be hauling in the cash with commercials ranging from, The Game Show Network and tons of others. 

Then there were the albums. Yes, he made albums. Three of them to be exact. His Christmas album was actually titled Hung for The Holidays, which definitely sounds more like a porn film.

Despite his surprising popularity, Wiliiam Hung called it quits on his so-called musical career in 2011 and became a technical crime analyst for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. 

Since then he’s been (thankfully?) missing from the Hollywood scene. 

You might also be interested in: 15 Celebrities From The ‘90s Whose Stars Have Faded

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Apr 16, 2020

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